Adriaen Brouwer: Youth Making a Face (c1632/1635)
" … holding me closer than I care to be held."

The cats remain small children, approaching eight or nine human years old, only a year and a half in cat years. They remain the centers of their worlds with whole universes existing solely to service their whims. They haven't yet heard about manners. Max wants outside when he wants to go outside, and denying his demand leaves him mournfully yowling. It's cold outside this morning, though, and he has not yet learned to respect the cold. I suspect that he imagines his late summer predawn awaiting him. He looks as if I've betrayed him when the door opens to snowing. He steps out as if into water, slinking off into shadows. He quickly returns, complaining as he enters, seemingly pleading for me to restore regular order. Molly seems more mature in that she might no more than step out into it before appreciatively returning inside, resigned. Neither seem to want to be inside through the morning. They take to their corners to dream, I suspect, of the mice they expected to be hunting. This day will continue forever.

Nothing like weather to spark the unrequitable urge to go somewhere, anywhere.
Forget cozy, it's confining. I feel no more appreciative than either kitten seems, resigned more than accepting. The morning might seem to stretch into the middle of next week and punctuate itself with weird urgings. I'd trade part of my soul for a donut I'd ordinarily go out of my way to avoid. The afternoon first never comes before refusing to leave. Evening will shrink into a quick supper which might well go on forever without satisfying even hunger. Books, my usual refuge, turn uninteresting. The rooms seem cold however high the heat's turned up. The fireplace increases the temperature around the thermostat, which further depresses the temperature in every other room. I work the oven simmering stock, but not even that smells right. I might slip out to run one made-up errand, but I don't want to stripe The Schooner's side panels with slush. I remain steadfastly emotionally uninterested through the day.

It's not even that much of a snow, certainly no blizzard, but it comes during a transition period when my circadian rhythm remains calibrated for another season. The cats perform the conniptions I want to present, but I lack an empathic audience and I've grown complacent. I tolerate altogether too much. The cats' yowling puts me on an edge I cannot quite seem to get off. There's no placating any of us. With The Muse in her basement office talking to the wall, the rest of the place seems barren and hollow. Should I post a photo of freshly falling snow, I'll be deluged with advice to make myself a cup of cocoa and curl up by a fire. I swear that I'd sooner expire. Max has been out and back in a half dozen times by sunup, still insisting that his world should be different than it seems this morning. We live feverish dreams.

I continually catch myself insisting that simple acceptance might resolve any difficulty, but that's way easier said than done. Theoretically, anything might seem promising. Practically, when SnowDaying, almost nothing does. For want of a single moment of self-determination, everything spoils. If this had been a genuine blizzard, I might have risen to the moment, shoveling snow and cozying up in between shovelings. The indignity of bringing the deck chair cushions inside after brushing snow off of them, brings no sense of having accomplished anything. I'm yowling inside. Last week, I caught myself internally plotting a nice long drive out into the countryside somewhere, perhaps out onto the prairie or somewhere further south, but the Damned Pandemic boxed in even my imagination. Everywhere, the spread's much worse than here! I'd have to be considerably more desperate to consent to immerse myself there. So I'm here, just here, with SnowDaying holding me closer than I care to be held.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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